Ben & Jerry's Backs Indian Wind-Power Project

Ben & Jerry's Backs Indian Wind-Power Project

Ben & Jerry's joins the fight against global warming with its recent announcement to offset one year's carbon dioxide emissions from its Vermont ice cream production facilities. Revenue from Ben & Jerry's purchase will support construction of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Wind Turbine Project in South Dakota, the first Native American-owned and operated large-scale wind turbine in the country. The turbine is expected to be operational by November, 2002.

The company secured the CO2 offsets through NativeEnergy's WindBuilders Business Partner program--an initiative that enables individuals and businesses to support new wind farm construction through the advance purchase of long-term streams of renewable energy credits.

Through its purchase, Ben & Jerry's will secure 5,000 tons of CO2 -- enough to offset the 2002 estimated CO2 emissions produced by its manufacturing and office facilities in Vermont, officials say. Ben & Jerry's will then donate the CO2 offsets to Clean Air-Cool Planet, a New Hampshire-based environmental organization working to promote practical solutions to global warming. Clean Air-Cool Planet will "retire" the CO2 offsets to ensure that Ben & Jerry's CO2 emissions are neutralized.

According to Pat Spears, president of the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy, the tribe sees "utility scale renewable energy generation as a 'no-regrets' sustainable homeland economic development strategy, with a positive impact on CO2 emission reduction. And the Rosebud Wind Project is leading the way in bringing tribal utility scale wind power on-line."

Burning fossil fuels to generate electricity is the largest industrial source of CO2 emissions in the U.S. New wind farms fight global warming by reducing the amount of electricity otherwise needed from power plants that burn fossil fuels.